Competitive gaming is taking over. With the number of esports tournaments skyrocketing across the world, the demand for high-level competitions is at an all-time high. And games like Dota 2, Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Fortnite have been instrumental in building up this momentum. Let’s take a look at the best online esports tournaments they have to offer!
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It’s no secret that Counter-Strike is one of the oldest esports titles in the world. Over the years, the legendary game went through multiple iterations, and now Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CSGO) esports tournaments are some of the most popular gaming events in the industry. And for good reason.
The scene is as vast as an ocean. Many significant CSGO esports tournaments are sponsored by the game developer—Valve—and they can be split into minor and major categories. Minor events are usually viewed as stepping stones where up-and-coming teams get the opportunity to make a name for themselves. Meanwhile, major events are premier competitions that pit the best teams in China, Europe, and North America against each other in a battle for million-dollar prize pools.
Minors and majors are spread out between different organizations, so it’s common to see big names like DreamHack, FACEIT, ESL, MLG, and PGL hosting these online esports tournaments. Additionally, CSGO has an open circuit, meaning that the scene has a plethora of event organizers fighting for viewer attention. And in the end, healthy competition is one of the pillars of a successful esport.
Since Dota 2 is also developed by Valve, its esports tournaments schedule resembles that of CSGO. Once again, there are minor and major events conducted by the likes of ESL, PGL, DreamHack, StarLadder, Mars Media, Epic Esports Events, and others. And just like in CSGO, there’s a thriving open circuit that’s constantly competing for fans and eyeballs.
But there’s still one Dota 2 competition that stands out from a plethora of CSGO esports tournaments. Of course, we’re talking about The International. This is a premier Dota 2 tournament that’s entirely sponsored by Valve. Only the best teams in the world can hope to qualify for it by racking up circuit points in minor and major events. However, they’re rewarded with a chance to compete for a gargantuan prize pool that routinely reaches tens of millions of dollars. And even fans from other games are excited to see The International among upcoming esports tournaments.
Unlike other esports titles, LoL is much more about leagues than tournaments. For a large chunk of the year, League of Legends viewers follow events like the NA LCS, EU LCS, LPL, LCK, etc. These competitions are divided into spring and summer splits that last for several months straight, so there aren’t many windows for other online esports tournaments.
Hence, events usually occur in between the splits. The Mid-Season Invitational (or MSI) is a massive League of Legends tournament that takes place after the end of the spring split. It has the best teams from all competitive regions fighting for a formidable prize pool of several million dollars.
But even though MSI is a great tournament, it pales in comparison to Worlds. Worlds (aka the League of Legends World Championship) unfolds after the conclusion of the summer split, and most pro players view it as the ultimate goal of their careers. And for good reason, because Worlds winners get a massive prize, exclusive in-game skins modeled after them, and the prestige that comes from being the #1 team in League of Legends.
The Overwatch competitive scene is different from other titles. For one, its schedule doesn’t have a lot of upcoming esports tournaments, so most of the action revolves around the Overwatch League (or OWL). This is a major competition hosted by the game’s publisher Blizzard Entertainment. It takes place over four distinct stages where franchised teams fight through cutthroat group stages. Afterward, the best lineups move on to the playoffs to compete for the trophy and a million-dollar prize.
Granted, OWL isn’t the only event you can follow. Competitions like Overwatch Contenders serve as a great way to highlight up-and-coming players from all over the globe. Moreover, Blizzard hosts an Overwatch World Cup at the end of each year. And while the event isn’t as structured as other Overwatch tournaments, it’s the perfect opportunity for different countries to fight for the title of the #1 region in the game.
Of course, the list of upcoming esports tournaments isn’t limited to the abovementioned games. Many other titles have their own competitive events. For instance, most gamers will recognize BlizzCon as the premier tournament for games like Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft. In a similar fashion, Apex acts as a battleground for Super Smash Bros, and Capcom Cup serves the same function for Street Fighter. Similar events can be found for other titles, and as long as the game is popular and competitive, it will have its tournaments.
Another player that’s entering the esports scene is Fortnite. For now, the game doesn’t have a plethora of upcoming esports tournaments. Moreover, existing Fortnite events like NINJA Vegas ’18 and Pro-Am 2018 have more in common with show matches than esports competitions. But the publisher, Epic Games, has already announced its plans to invest $100 million into Fortnite prize pools. And considering the wild popularity of the title, it’s clear that the demand for Fortnite tournaments is higher than ever.
As you can see, esports tournaments schedule is packed with exciting events. Whether it’s CSGO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, Fortnite, or other titles, every competitive game has tournaments that promote the highest level of play. And while these competitions offer wildly different experiences, most fans can appreciate how they foster the growth of the entire esports scene.